Girls – Iris Lazzareschi

Growing up in the mountains of Tahoe Iris started snowsports and playing outside before she could walk. She grew up as second oldest in a family of four. Her older brother, who she still looks up to, was the first to snowboard in the family and is the reason she started. Once she started it was always her dream to become a professional and spend her life living and riding in the mountains.

I grew up in the Sierra Nevada mountains around Lake Tahoe and will always live to play in mountains all over the world. From the time I started skiing, and eventually boarding, I didn’t realize how important a role the mountains played in my life. I made my way through the park and slopestyle scene; even then I loved riding the whole mountain and couldn’t be found in the park on a pow day. Little did I know that one could find pow almost any day of the winter… that’s what started to change my life and, in succession, how I did my sport. Splitboarding and riding backcountry became the norm for me.

The ingredients that make up splitboarding are the same facets that make me feel alive: being outside, hunting for something to slash, fresh pow to ride through, a rock feature to ride around, over or under, gut wrenching views, challenges to overcome, and navigating through mountains with friends.

01. Title. Photo: Seth Lightcap
02. Climbing the Skillet on Mt Moran. Jackson Lake in the Background. Photo: Seth Lightcap

Snowboarding was made for fun, and skiing has always been good for going uphill; splitboarding is the perfect medium. The ingredients that make up splitboarding are the same facets that make me feel alive: being outside, hunting for something to slash, fresh pow to ride through, a rock feature to ride around, over or under, gut wrenching views, challenges to overcome, and navigating through mountains with friends. I knew I had to get one when I first heard of the idea. As a kid I had early notions of snowboarding in weird places but no transition to make it happen. I felt so inclined to have my friend make a splitboard for me years ago from an old board and it was glorious in powder, but a gamble in any other kind of snow. Today, I can confidently ride anything with one splitboard. The technology and quality of the boards has come so far that I could ride them at the resort.

“I have been using my split at Jackson and been finding untouched snow when the weather has been dry for two weeks and there’s a lot more riding to be had when taking a tram up the first 4000 feet.”

Resorts with open boundaries like Jackson Hole, similar to the Alps, have endless options with your split. I have been using my split at Jackson and been finding untouched snow when the weather has been dry for two weeks and there’s a lot more riding to be had when taking a tram up the first 4000 feet. What I’ve also been loving is getting some turns right away before touring, giving my brain something to lust while I skin.
Mountains and other landscapes that I have admired since I was a kid are now objectives of trips. I measure the distance, elevation, watch the weather and snowpack, and before I know it I’m somewhere with friends and my board that was once merely dreamed about.

01. On our way back to the parking lot we spotted what looked to be a few pillows in the trees. West Yellowstone, Montana. Photo: BenGavelda

02. The beauty of using a splitboard means you can single out lone pillows or take an all day to a far off peak. West Yellowstone, Montana. Photo: BenGavelda

03. This musky 1930s Forest Service cabin was the perfect end for a long day in the backcountry. West Yellowstone, Montana. Photo: BenGavelda

“I also felt the desire to expand my knowledge of snow science in order to accurately assess snowpacks in new places, so I took a level two avalanche course with Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership.”

Recently, I took a mountaineering course with EXUM guides called ‘Live to Ski’ designed for people that can confidently ride downhill but aim to delve into the other side of the sport; climbing up technical aspects that need ropes and accessing lines which are inaccessible without a rope. This course helped me overcome the plateau I had just reached this season. I also felt the desire to expand my knowledge of snow science in order to accurately assess snowpacks in new places, so I took a level two avalanche course with Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership.
Spending most of my winter in North America next season I will be exploring new mountain ranges across Idaho and Montana areas with friends from the Jones Snowboards team for the #everyrange project. In addition, the season will start with a couple free splitboard clinics here in the Tetons through my local boardshop, Habitat. Bestowing my tuned up skill set, I’ll be getting into some exciting stuff in the upcoming seasons. I have a new eye for lines and a whole new drive.

www.irislazz.blogspot.com/
Photo: www.bengavelda.com/